A popular high school vice principal was struck and killed while jogging in Ventura, and a female driver was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs, authorities said Monday.
The driver was heading southbound on Victoria Avenue south of Olivas Park Drive (map) around 6:50 a.m. Sunday when she attempted to merge into the right lane, made “an unsafe turning movement,” and allegedly hit a man who was jogging on the street, a CHP news release stated.
The pedestrian was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the release.
A white cross, photos, flowers and balloons had been left at a roadside memorial.
The victim was identified by the Ventura County coroner’s office as 38-year-old Christopher Allen Prewitt of Ventura.
Prewitt was the vice principal at De Anza Academy of Technology and the Arts, according to Hector Guerrero, the school’s principal. He had also been a teacher at Foothill Technology High.
Students and fellow teachers lauded Prewitt as an encouraging educator who was a positive influence on campus.
“He was a perfect example of someone that cared about people,” former colleague Jena Branstetter said.
Branstetter said that Prewitt had been training for a marathon.
“You could walk into a room and he could change your mood for the day,” former student Julie Blue said. “He was just always so happy.”
A vigil was held poolside Monday night at Buena High, where Prewitt was a water polo coach.
Shante Chappell, 23, of Oxnard, was arrested and booked into Ventura County jail, according to the CHP.
She was released Sunday, inmate records from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office showed.
Authorities were investigating the collision and asked anyone with information to call the CHP at 805-477-4100.
KTLA’s Kimberly Cheng, Melissa Pamer and Geoff Peters contributed to this report.